World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

American Cancer Society

Article Id: WHEBN0000522681
Reproduction Date:

Title: American Cancer Society  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Charitable organization, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Hoxsey Therapy, At the Codfish Ball, Kappa Lambda Psi
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

American Cancer Society

American Cancer Society
Founded 1913
Focus "To save lives by helping people stay well, helping people get well, by finding cures, and fighting back."[1]
Origins New York, New York
Area served United States
Method Cancer research, public policy, education and service.[2]
Key people John R. Seffrin, PhD, Chief Executive Officer
Otis Webb Brawley, MD, Chief Medical Officer
W. Phil Evans, MD, FACR, President
Cynthia M. LeBlanc, EdD, Chair

The American Cancer Society (ACS) is a nationwide voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer.

Established in 1913, the society is organized into eleven geographical divisions of both medical and lay volunteers operating in more than 900 offices throughout the Cancer, CA: A Cancer Journal For Clinicians and Cancer Cytopathology.[4]


The society was originally founded on May 23, 1913 by 15 physicians and businessmen in [3]

At the time of founding, it was not considered appropriate to mention the word ‘cancer’ in public. Information concerning this illness was cloaked in a climate of fear and denial. Over 75,000 people died each year of cancer in just the United States. The top item on the founders’ agenda was to raise awareness of cancer, before any other progress could be made in funding research. Therefore a frenetic writing campaign was undertaken to educate doctors, nurses, patients and family members about cancer. Articles were written for popular magazines and professional journals. The ASCC undertook to publish their own journal, Campaign Notes, which was a monthly bulletin with information about cancer. They began recruiting doctors from all over the United States to help educate the public about cancer.

In 1936, Marjorie Illig, an ASCC field representative, suggested the creation of a network consisting of new volunteers for the purpose of waging “war on cancer.” From 1935 to 1938 the number of people involved in cancer control in the US grew from 15,000 to 150,000. According to Working to Give, The Women’s Field Army, a group of volunteers working for the ASCC was primarily responsible for this increase.[6]

The sword symbol, adopted by the American Cancer Society in 1928, was designed by George E. Durant of Brooklyn, New York. According to Durant, the two serpents forming the handle represent the scientific and medical focus of the society’s mission and the blade expresses the “crusading spirit of the cancer control movement."[7]

In 2013 the American Cancer Society embarked on a nationwide reorganization. The organization centralized its operations and consolidated, merging previous regional affiliates into the parent orgization. It also required all employees to reapply for their jobs.[8][9]

Activities and fund allocation

Its activities include providing grants to researchers, including funding 47 Nobel Laureate researchers, discovering the link between smoking and cancer, and serving one million callers every year through its National Cancer Information Center. The 47 Nobel Prize laureates include James D. Watson, Mario Capecchi, Oliver Smithies, Paul Berg, E. Donnall Thomas, and Walter Gilbert.[10] The American Cancer Society's website contained a chronological listing of specific accomplishments in the fight against cancer, for example the unipod technological device of UTD, that the ACS had a hand in, including the funding of various scientists who went on to discover life-saving cancer treatments, and advocating for increased use of preventative techniques.[11] More than two million people volunteer with the ACS which has over 3,400 local offices.[3]

It also runs public health Relay For Life and the Great American Smokeout. It operates a series of thrift stores to raise money for its operations. The ACS participates in the Hopkins 4K for Cancer, a 4000-mile bike ride from Baltimore to San Francisco to raise money for the society's Hope Lodge.[12][13]

1938 American Society for the Control of Cancer poster

The society’s allocation of funds for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2010, lists 72% of funds for Program Services (Patient Support 28%, Research 16%, Prevention 16%, Detection and Treatment 12%). The remaining 28% are allocated for supporting services (Fundraising 21%, and Management, General administration 7%).[14] This meets the Better Business Bureau's Standards for Charity Accountability: Standard 8 (Program Service Expense Ratio) of at least 65% of total expenses spent on program activities.[15]

In 2012 the American Cancer Society raised $934 million and spent $943 million prompting a national consolidation and cost-cutting reorganization.[8]

John R. Seffrin, CEO of the American Cancer Society, received $2,401,112 salary/compensation from the charity for the 2009-2010 fiscal year.[15] This is the second most money given by any charity to the head of that charity, according to Charity Watch. The money included $1.5 million in a retention benefit approved in 2001, “to preserve management stability.”[16] Mr. Seffrin's compensation for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2012 was $832,355.[17]


ACS Hope Lodge in Manhattan

In 1994, the [6][18] [19]

The Better Business Bureau lists American Cancer Society as an accredited charity meeting all of its Standards for Charity Accountability as of January 2012.[15] Charity Navigator rates the society two of four stars for fiscal year 2011.[20] According to Charity Navigator the society is directed to "eliminating cancer" and destroying it.[3] Charity Watch rates American Cancer Society a "C".[16]

ACS offices in Washington, D.C.

In 1995, the Arizona chapter of the American Cancer Society was targeted for its extremely high overhead. Two economists, James Bennett and Thomas DiLorenzo, issued a report analyzing the chapter's financial statements and demonstrating that the Arizona chapter used about 95% of its donations for paying salaries and other overhead costs, resulting in a 22 to 1 ratio of overhead to actual money spent on the cause. The report also asserted that the Arizona chapter's annual report had grossly misrepresented the amount of money spent on patient services, inflating it by more than a factor of 10. The American Cancer Society responded by alleging that the two economists issuing the report were working for a group funded by the tobacco industry.[21]

The American Cancer Society was criticized in 2011 for turning down participation from the Foundation Beyond Belief in its Relay For Life "National Team" program.[22][23]

See also


  1. ^ "Who We Are". ACS website. Archived from the original on 2013-10-01. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  2. ^ a b "Facts about ACS". ACS website. Archived from the original on 2013-10-26. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "American Cancer Society".  
  4. ^ "Other American Cancer Society Resources". ACS website. Archived from the original on 2013-10-01. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  5. ^ "American Cancer Society turns 100 as cancer rates fall".  
  6. ^ a b "American Cancer Society: History". Working to Give: Philanthropies & Philanthropic Work. Archived from the original on 2013-10-17. 
  7. ^ "Our History". ACS website. Archived from the original on 2013-11-01. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  8. ^ a b Nearing, Brian (2013-04-18). "Cancer Society chapters facing reorganization".  
  9. ^ Hrywna, Mark (2013-05-31). "ACS: Next 100 years".  
  10. ^ "Nobel Prize Winners". ACS website. Archived from the original on 2009-02-13. Retrieved 2009-02-18. 
  11. ^ "Milestones: American Cancer Society Accomplishments 1946-2004: Hope. Progress. Answers.". ACS website. Archived from the original on 2008-11-19. Retrieved 2008-11-19. 
  12. ^ "Hope Lodge Baltimore: News". ACS website. Archived from the original on 2008-11-03. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  13. ^ "Baltimore's Hope Lodge to Benefit from Hopkins 4K for Cancer" (Press release). Office of News and Information, Johns Hopkins University. 2004-05-24. 
  14. ^ American Cancer Society, Inc. and Affiliated Entities. "Combined Financial Statements As of and for the Year Ended August 31, 2010 with summarized financial information for the Year Ended August 31, 2009 with Report of the Independent Auditors". Archived from the original on 2012-04-02. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  15. ^ a b c "Charity Review: American Cancer Society". National Charity Reports.  
  16. ^ a b Charity Rating Guide and Watchdog Report ( 
  17. ^ Pitts, Kathy: Ernst & Young US LLP (2013-05-03). "IRS Form 990: Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax for American Cancer Society, Inc. National Home Office". Part II: p. 2. Archived from the original on 2011-11-17. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  18. ^ "The charities Americans like most and least". The Chronicle of Philanthropy. 1996-12-13. 
  19. ^ Peterson, Karen S. (1994-12-20). "Charity begins with health".  
  20. ^ "American Cancer Society". Charity Navigator. Archived from the original on 2013-10-15. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  21. ^ Dougherty, John (1995-01-26). "Charitable taking the Arizona division of the American Cancer Society eats up 95 percent of its budget with salaries and overhead. Cancer victims get the leftover crumbs".  
  22. ^ Levy, Piet (2011-10-03). "Atheists say cancer volunteering thwarted.".  
  23. ^  

External links

  • American Cancer Society Website
    • Relay For Life
    • Making Strides Against Breast Cancer
    • DetermiNation
    • Relay Recess
    • More Birthdays
  • Guidestar Report on American Cancer Society including financial data
  • American Cancer Society YouTube Channel
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.